Funny, one of my colleagues on Facebook says something to the extent that Pope Francis will be an interesting pope that will truly show us how Catholic we really are.
I take it further and say that Pope Francis is a litmus test that will truly show our real core of our soul, to be one of the following: Pope Francis will test you, and reveal that you really are:
1) A "Judas"/false Catholic, who lies about their practice and adherence to the Faith, and really doesn't love Christ, and really should just go about not calling themselves "Catholic."
2) A true and active Catholic who does love our Lord and seeks to be as perfect as he was, being devout and truthful to the Catholic Faith and believing in all the truths it contains, as well as living out said Catholic Faith and rejecting the empty lies of His enemy, the Devil OR
3) He will expose the Pharisee that you really are, a Trad Behaving Badly, that while you cross your I's and dot your T's, you truly, deep down are only Catholic by law, but are not at the core of your soul. You lack the virtue of Charity, do Satan's will via said Pharisaical behaviours, focusing on externals and a rigorist practice of the faith that makes the Catholic Faith SEEM elitist and secluded, and abusing the Latin Mass/Liturgy for selfish means outside of its true purpose. The old: "Saint on Sunday, Sinner the other 6 days of the week" as it were.
Personally, I want to aim for #2, thank you. And if you have been reading the multitude of posts I've written here the past year on S.U.D., you'll see based on what I cover and how in depth I am in both forms of the Roman Rite in the Church, that I do not want to let 3) be my fate at the litmus test of Pope Francis. And we should strive for the same.
Anyhow, I wanted to go in depth on what I've witnessed and seen from some of my colleagues and/or other coverage on the internet. Pope Francis' interview with an Italian atheist of La Republica, has caused much outrage amongst the blogosphere and produced some comments on Facebook too. However, another conservative, Catholic blogger has beat me to it, though his/her focus is usually pro-life issues.
Big Blue Wave, has been around the blogosphere for a while, speaking mainly on pro-life and family issues. But he/she has taken time away from that to comment on the whole Francis debacle, sharing my exact sentiments and feelings. I'll let Big Blue do the talking in two posts, which I will be posting in full here and in a second highlight post, because I think it is absolutely important you read all the text.
Pax, Julian. Here's the first one, thought for the sake of shrinking the post I'll be removing spaces put into the text:
"The orthodox hissy fit over the pope's latest
interview annoys the crap out of me.
First of all, given that the
interviewer is an atheist, we're not even sure if the pope's words were
correctly conveyed. Secondly, there is the issue of translation.
Third: Can't a pope have a conversation with an atheist without it
turning into exhibit A for his heresy trial?
Sure, the conversation was
recorded. But it's a conversation.
I'll reveal a deep, dark secret about
me. Sometimes, when I'm offline and you're not all
paying attention: I talk about things other than
abortion. I don't even talk about orthodoxy. Or
Sometimes, I think about how to make myself a better
Catholic. And get out the smelling salts for this one: I
even think about helping the poor.
Does it boggle the
mind? Give yourself a good whiff.
Okay, maybe I'm being a bit
presumptuous, because I'm not the pope after all. I mean, nobody ultimately
cares what I think about abortion or orthodoxy. Except, maybe, you.
But if this is the case for me, why shouldn't it be the case for the
It doesn't make him a bad Catholic. So you're saying
to yourself: but the babies... the dissent.
it. I share your concerns. Nonetheless, what he's doing is not at
cross purposes of what we want to do.
Don't we want to bring people
to Christ? Isn't that the pope's number one job? Won't that make people more
And I know that this is going to make people mad, but you don't
bring people to Christ by leading with abortion or talking about how sinful it
is to dissent from Church teaching.
If you hadn't noticed, it's not like
us orthodox Catholics have done a really bang up job of bringing converts to the
Church, or even just keeping baptized Catholics Catholic. Yes, yes, we blame all
the professional Catholics, and the bishops, etc. But ultimately, being the
bearers of the Truth, it's not like we've driving people to the Church in
We bear that responsibility. How many people have YOU
brought into the Church? Given the numbers of people who go to Mass, I'm going
to say that on average you've probably brought zero people into the Church.
We've had the internet for 20 years now. We've been able to reach a lot
of people. And sure, orthodox Catholics have done a lot to improve the doctrinal
atmosphere of the institutional Church but newsflash: [there's] just not that many
people joining. The net growth has not been very good.
And maybe it's
swell to be a smaller but more faithful Church, but that doesn't improve the
fate of lost souls out there...
Pope Francis has the ear of people who
would otherwise not give the Catholic Church the time of day. Why is that
He's not going to talk about abortion and orthodoxy when
talking to an atheist, just like he's not going to talk to Jews about Jesus'
Resurrection or Muslims about his Divinity, certainly not on the first or second
This is how normal relationships work. People don't
lead with "Hi, I believe in Jesus Christ, are you saved?" Not in Canada,
anyway. Normal people don't work that way so neither should we. St. Paul
said to become all things to all people, and it's no different for us faithful
We're so wrapped up in culture war battles we sometimes forget
how to be normal human beings. I'm as guilty as anyone. To some extent,
we enjoy the battle. We revel in saving babies, the beauty of Church teaching,
and bringing greater glory to God. This is normal for faithful Catholics. There
is nothing wrong with that.
But the rest of the world doesn't think like
that. I understand that the rest of the world gets on our nerves because it
doesn't operate on the premises that we like, and on top of that it mocks us for
our beliefs, so we retreat into our comfortable little circles and don't bother
to stick our necks out so that we can't avoid the discomfort of facing the
I completely get that.
But it doesn't
bring souls to Christ. It doesn't make faith seem normal. There are people in
this world who don't know a single faithful Catholic. Even though there are a
billion Catholics in this world.
Whose fault is that? Is it the bishops'?
It's time we stop always blaming the clergy for everything,
notwithstanding the weight of responsibility they do bear.
is showing us how it's done-- how to talk to people like normal human
The pope is not going to lead with teachings from encyclicals,
much as I love them. He is not going to lead with abortion. That's probably why
he didn't mention it as the top evil. He didn't want the conversation to go down
that path and be railroaded into another culture war discussion that doesn't
anywhere. He wanted to talk about things that this atheist wanted to talk
He wanted to start where people are at.
I'm not too
good at this stuff. It doesn't mean it shouldn't get done. It doesn't mean that
I shouldn't learn. Does this mean that we stop talking about abortion and
that we stop speaking out against dissent? NO!!!
about abortion, and modernism and orthodoxy and the whole culture war litany of
issues are completely valid.
But being a Catholic is like being a guy
with the spinning plates. Remember those from the Ed Sullivan
days? We can't just spin
one or two plates. We have to spin all the plates. Culture
war, orthodoxy, saving souls, missionary work, charitable work, prayer, etc
Being Catholic is not just about one thing. It's about
everything. So we can't just get ticked off when the pope doesn't
lead with our issues. The best predictor of future results is past
In the past, Pope
Francis has come out strongly in defense of human life. He is
He will not disappoint us. We have to stop
acting like we have no lessons to receive from our pope just because he's not
talking about our issues this very moment.
He's giving us
an important lesson on how to reach out to
Given our poor record of reaching out to
people outside our circles and bringing them in, maybe we should be paying
attention. And I will now don my industrial strength flamesuit."
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